Researchers at Samsung Medical Center have discovered that menopausal hormone therapy is effective in reducing overall mortality, the hospital said Wednesday.
|Samsung Medical Center in Ilwon-dong, Seoul.|
Most menopausal hormone therapy usually starts at the beginning of menopause to treat menopausal disorders. Hormone therapy improves the quality of life, but there are some controversies that the treatment may have side effects such as raising the risk of breast cancer or cardiovascular diseases.
Notably, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force announced in December 2017 that it does not recommend menopausal hormone therapy in preventing chronic diseases related to aging as there is no overall benefit when considering the risks.
However, the task force added that there was no definite conclusion for the therapy in treating women between the ages of 50 and 59 and stressed the need for further research.
The team, led by Professor Yoon Byung-gu of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the hospital, analyzed the results of the overall mortality analysis for early postmenopausal women under 60. Professor Bae Jong-myun of the department of preventive medicine at Jeju National University School of Medicine also participated in the study.
The team investigated the effects of hormone therapy on early postmenopausal women regarding overall mortality rates based on four long-term clinical trials – two trials involving healthy people and two tests involving patients with chronic diseases such as coronary artery disease.
As a result, a healthy postmenopausal woman under 60 years of age had a significantly lower overall mortality rate of 13 percent when treated with menopausal hormone therapy. The patient group also showed a 16 percent decrease in their overall mortality rate.
The combined analysis of the two groups resulted in a 13 percent reduction in overall mortality. Also, estrogen and progestogen combination therapy was more effective than estrogen monotherapy.
The team also discovered that menopausal hormone therapy further decreased mortality during treatment. The overall mortality rate for this period was 41 percent for both groups.
“The research showed that patients should not postpone treatment because of misunderstanding and worries about menopausal hormone therapy,” Professor Yoon said.
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